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Purpose of Top

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, new to OCN, but I've come here many a time to assist myself with builds. I signed up today cause I'm looking at getting a new system, and I'm considering water cooling it. Nothing firmly laid out yet at all, just read all the guides on here I could find.

No where could I find a definitive answer to the "purpose of a top." I used the lovely Google Custom Search, but came up with nothing.

I realise that it increases water pressure for the pump, but my exact question is more science based. So...

What is the exact purpose of a top? How does it work to achieve this? What scientific principles are involved? How is it connected in a water cooling system, and how does that improve cooling? Got any nifty diagrams or pictures explaining it?

When I do something new, I treat it as a learning exercise, rather than just a "Peter did it, so should I" system, and hence, the questions.

This, of course, leads to more questions, like "what's the best?" and "if i do x can i then do y?" but we'll leave those questions for later.

Cheers.
    
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post #2 of 9
While you don't actually specifically say it I assume you mean a Pump Top like XSPC's Tops for Swiftech pumps?

If this is the case then usually they are used for a couple of reasons. Firstly for looks as they do look far nicer. Secondly for better performance.

I believe the performance comes from tighter tolerances between the impeller and the case. If you look at your fans you will see there is a gap of a millimeter or so but if you get a good quality fan then this gap will be smaller. the same is true of pumps the gap between the impeller and the case is smaller leading to a higher pressure.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ah... And the plot thickens... You said "pump top" and I've only ever seen it written as "top"

So yes, I would assume I am talking about a pump top, and hence, correct me if I'm wrong, it's not actually a whole separate component, but an addition/modification to the pump.

In which case, being an engineer, all makes instant sense to me on how it works, why, etc.

Thanks very much for a quick reply that enlightened someone like me...
    
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post #4 of 9
Yes it is a modification to an existing pump.

Good luck with your build if you do decide to go through with it. Its not a scary as it looks and if you need help the forums always here for advice.
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post #5 of 9
Another common reason why pump tops are used on the laing pumps is to allow the use of your own choice of fittings rather than the plastic ones on the pump.

Heres is an 11 top roundup. Theres probably a more recent one if you search around.
post #6 of 9
I'd say that main reason for using pump tops, at least for Laing pumps, is that original tops have integrated fittings. With a top you can use any kind of fittings and as a bonus you even get a bit more performance.

D5 with stock top:


D5 and an EK top:


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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, the build isn't until next November at the earliest. It's not an issue of money, it's an issue of Ivy Bridge vs. Westmere. So I'm waiting for Ivy Bridge. The Sandy Bridge's did not arouse me. The look of the current Westmere's are great, but Ivy bridge may have so much more potential.

So basically, the whole system is scoped out, and I'm just waiting for info on Ivy Bridge. My only decision left is to water cool or not, and if I do, which components I get wet.

Thanks all for the great references and pics, I fully understand it now. Here's hoping I take the plunge! (Does anyone ever get sick of the water puns here?)
    
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post #8 of 9
I like the xspc bay reservoirs that you can put the 655 or 355 in they give a perf boost and elimate the need to have a res inside your case let you use 2 drive bays. Once the air is out my 655 is completely silent.
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post #9 of 9
The main reason the aftermarket tops increase the performance of the Swiftech MCP 355 so much is that they change the pump inlet to a straight tube rather than a 90 degree one. When you have a 90 degree inlet one side the impeller gets more water than the other and creates an imbalance that reduces efficiency. This is why a replacement top for the Laing DDC (90 degree inlet stock) increase pump performance much more than a replacement top for the Laing D5 (straight inlet stock).
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